The Slovenia Times

Dončić to play in Olympic qualifying, if healthy

Luka Dončić (right) in a Slovenia-Greece friendly in August 2023. Photo: Anže Malovrh/STA

Slovenian basketball superstar Luka Dončić has ended speculation regarding his participation for the national team at the Olympic qualifying tournament in Greece in July, saying he will be available, barring an injury.

Dončić, who currently leads the NBA season leaders board in points per game by averaging 34.5 points, confirmed his willingness to help Slovenia qualify for the Paris Olympics as he spoke with Slovenian reporters in New York late on 6 February after he and his Dallas Mavericks defeated the Brooklyn Nets 119:107.

"Yes, I will. If there are no injuries, of course I will," Dončić said when asked about the tournament in Piraeus on 2-7 July where Slovenia will first face Croatia and New Zealand, noting that he had always been on hand for the national team.

Should Slovenia secure a top-two spot, they would advance to the next stage, where they would play one of the top two teams from the other group, featuring Greece, Egypt and the Dominican Republic. Only one team of the six will make it to Paris.

Dončić, who recently became a father, told the journalists he was happier than ever. "There are some sleepless nights, but Ana does most of the job. This is something that really changes your life," he said about their daughter Gabriela.

After beating the Brooklyn Nets, with Dončić pouring in 35 points, 18 rebounds and nine assists, the Dallas Mavericks are staying in New York to play the New York Knicks in Madison Square Garden on 8 February.


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